Susan Cavanaugh

Watch Dog 

The few leaves
that fall in July
bake into the shape
of cupped hands
on the scorched pavement
that look like the hands
of your dead and mine
that cause my lumbering dog
to step gingerly around them
that cause my confident dog
to turn back often
to see I’m still here
at the end of her red leash
that cause my dog
who often ignores me
to check on me
as if there is something
wrong something different
here today something perhaps
dangerous     strange


After Susan’s early success as a poet (Yankee, Painted Bride Quarterly, publication of her chapbook, 1994, “The Good Sense of a Bird”), she is back from a 2-decade hiatus.

On why poetry matters:  As Donald Hall put it when he selected a poem of Cavanaugh’s for a Yankee award, “Susan Cavanaugh remembers and preserves, which is one of the purposes and functions of the art of poetry.”